A New Harvest Aid for Canola Growers

Posted in: Farming     

New Pod-Stik makes harvest management or straight cutting possible

Canola harvest always has its challenges for growers in Western Canada. Weather conditions, maturity, seed moisture, greens and yield all factors at play. That’s why more and more growers are looking at the option of direct combining some of their canola crop. Advantages to straight cutting range from fewer trips over the field, which save fuel and machinery costs, to less green seed higher oil content and better management of harvest timing. Making the best use of time at harvest is especially important for growers with large acres.

However, one of the most significant disadvantages of direct combining is the risk of pod shattering which lowers yields.

That was, until now. UAP introduced a new pod sealant called Pod-Stik to Canada last year. Used successfully by European canola growers for years, it helps growers better manage the timing of their harvest and allows straight cutting or direct combining of canola because it helps prevent pod shattering. It works by using a unique latex polymer that actually helps glue the upper pod suture line – the place where the pod can start to split closer to maturity or under repeated wetting and drying conditions. Keeping the pod intact through harvesting prevents seed loss.

In fact, in 26 grower trials across the Prairies in 2008, Pod-Stik treated canola had yields averaging 2 bu/ac more than non-treated canola. Since these trails were set up to compare direct combining to swathed canola, additional savings of fuel and machinery costs from the swathing operation can also be added to the ROI calculation.

By reducing pod shatter, Pod-Stik helps gives growers more options for harvest management. While some growers use Pod-Stik to manage some of their acres designated for straight combining, others use it to prevent loss by spraying on an application before swathing. UAP recommends that Pod-Stik be applied between 40-60% colour change or while the upper pods are still pliable and will bend without splitting. This product can be applied by either aerial or ground application. Whit coverage being an important issue, it’s recommended to apply Pod-Stik in a minimum of 5 gallons per acre by air or a minimum of 20 gallons by ground rig. The product will last approximately 8 weeks – the longest lasting of any pod sealant available to Western Canadian growers – but will gradually wear down due to weathering so applying at about the same time as swathing is very important.
Pod-Stik is a convenient and effective way to maximize the value of your maturing canola crop – particularly with all that is invested in technology and seed traits. Pod-Stik does not have any adverse effects on dry down, seed maturity or quality.

As with any product, the proof is what happens in the field. Troy Monea, a grower and custom applicator in Wetaskawin, Alberta explains how Pod-Stik helped save canola on hilltops that might otherwise have been too dry and brittle and had significant pod shatter.

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“The hilltops were drying out faster that the low spots and I needed to give more time for the low spots to mature. We decided to use Pod-Stik to try to give the crop another 10 or 12 days before swathing,” said Monea.

“When we came to swath, we were able to land swath the hilltops. None of the canola was shattered on the hilltops. If we hadn’t sprayed Pod-Stik, they would have all been gone. It’s definitely a product that will protect what you’ve put into the field already. It’s going to protect your yield potential.”

Once seeding is done and you work throughout the season to protect your yield potential, consider Pod-Stik as Monea did to help you get the most of this year’s harvest.

Brodie Blair
Western Products Manager
UAP Canada
p. 204.888.1320
e. bblair@uap.ca

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